Ready, set, garden!

Our cast of characters for the 2010 garden has been chosen. There will be some dependable favorites, as well as some promising newcomers this year. Most of our seeds come from Fedco this year, or are holdovers from last year. Fedco Seeds strives to keep genetically modified seeds out of their catalog and the people of Seven Trees like to support their efforts. They also have great customer service and an interesting selection.

After taking a break from dry/soup beans, we’re going to give Hutterite beans a try.

They are a bush bean that can grow a little taller than most bush varieties, up to 3ft. They’ve been boarded on the Slow Food ark of taste, and we hope they live up to their gourmet reputation.

We’ll also be growing the old-school green bean, Blue Lake pole. The past couple of years, there have been reports that this variety is reverting back to an older version, but since they taste so good both fresh & canned, we’ll risk it. Last year we tried Kentucky Wonder, and just didn’t like the stringiness of them. They canned up fine though.

Other new selections are:

  • Sumptuous sweet corn
  • Table Queen acorn squash
  • Burpee’s Butterbush winter squash
  • Nantes Fancy carrot
  • Cylindra beet
  • Space spinach
  • Prize bak choy
  • Ruby Perfection cabbage

Since tomatoes at Seven Trees usually get the blight long before they come ripe, we’ll probably stick with the one variety that goes gangbusters early – Stupice.  With just one plant last year, we were able to freeze quite a lot of blanched, chopped maters.

The pepper crop of ’09 was a big one for us, and we’re going to work a little harder at getting more in 2010. The Czech Black is a tasty jalapeno-type pepper, only 100x more beautiful. And they are wonderful pickled. We’ll also grow a few sweet peppers from store-bought starts, and hopefully a ton of Ancho/Poblanos too.

The repeat performers:

  • Delicata squash
  • Rubarb chard
  • Salad Bowl lettuce
  • Copra onions
  • Littleleaf cukes
  • Island Sunshine potatoes

About a month from now we’ll be starting seeds. Onions, spinach, chard…..and we’re still harvesting spinach, kohlrabi and soup celery planted last year.

Almost forgot to mention that this year we’ll be growing corn in the hen run. Our previous corn patches were in an area that was sod, and just doesn’t have enough gusto in the soil yet to support a greedy crop like corn. So once we move the hens to their new digs, we’ll till up the 3+ year accumulation of aged chicken poo and straw and plant corn. I’m betting it will grow like gang busters. I may even grow another favorite variety of dry bean, Hidatsa Shield Figure, up the cornstalks in the traditional Native American way, to take advantage of all that untapped fertility. Here’s Newt in our first corn patch.

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7 thoughts on “Ready, set, garden!”

  1. I’m going to try and get my pepper and tomato seeds going (indoors) this month. Once the heat hits us, most stop producing , so it’s a spring/fall kindof thing. The 2009 garden saw many tomato/pepper plants get hit by an early frost before they’d been harvested.

  2. Man, just looking at your list of seeds makes me hungry! You’ll like the Nantes carrots. My CSA farmer grows them and they are nice and sweet when small. Do watch out, though; they seem to get woody as they get larger.

    I’m not sure what the purple variety of pepper is my sweetie grew but they, too, were gorgeous. Some type of cayenne, I think he said. We’ve also got a 5-color Chinese pepper plant currently with orange and purple peppers on it. (Can you believe our pepper plants are still hanging on and producing here?!)

  3. I think last year’s carrots were Scarlet Nantes and red-cored Chantenais.
    Half the fun of gardening is experimenting with different varieties to see
    what works. Sometimes the veggies talked up in catalogs just aren’t right
    for our garden, but you never know til you try.

    -J

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